Recently released numbers show burglaries in 2003 increased six-fold over the previous year in the area bordered by 34th, 50th, Indiana and University. It seems, what was meant to clean up one neighborhood is causing problems for others. Lubbock City Councilman Gary Boren and police believe revitalization efforts in North Overton are part of the reason crime is going up in some more affluent parts of town.
Once an area plagued by high crime rates and rundown buildings, North Overton is now in the middle of becoming a desirable place to build a luxury home, but with it's make-over, come some side effects of sky-rocketing burglary rates in nearby neighborhoods. Councilman Boren says, people are scared of the news. "When you see an increase six-fold in a neighborhood, that's pretty bad. What it is, is they're being flushed out of Overton and hopefully we're gonna keep them moving, hopefully out of town."
Councilman Boren looks at it as a war. He vows to win that war and make the neighborhood bordered by 34th, 50th, Indiana and University safe from thieves. He says, "We're not gonna tolerate it and we're gonna kick these scuzbuckets out of Lubbock and not let them do this to our neighborhoods."
So how do you do that? Boren says, "It's going to take having more police patrols, it'll take educating citizens on what to do at their homes.. keep doors locked, more lights up, report any suspicious activity."
Captain Glen Fowler, of the Lubbock Police Department, says, "Don't be afraid to call the police department when you see something that looks unusual and you have a feeling this is not right. A lot of time when people have a gut feeling there is something wrong."
Marjorie Manning, President of the Tech Terrace Unit Neighborhood Association says, "I think burglaries could be stopped if we were more careful and more vigilant."
Tech Terrace is another area where burglaries are on the rise. Marjorie says, "There was a burglary across the street from me and in the daytime and I was home!" Residents like Marjorie and city leaders aren't wasting any time. They are organizing neighborhood meetings to develop a plan for reversing the crime trends in their areas.
Councilman Boren tells NewsChannel 11 the police department, the mayor and all of city council are resolute, something must be done.
There is good news however, the burglary rate for the entire city actually went down in 2003 16%.